Implementation Issues in Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
The problem with the earlier programmes is at the implementation level. Poor implementation of sanitation schemes is the reason that India is plagued with health and hygiene issues. A report by the UNICEF India and Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA) revealed that only 49 percent of the budget had been utilized between 1999 and 2011.
Poor utilization of funds, delay in the reach of funds and the lack of funds has been identified as some of the problems with the earlier programmes. Further, even if the funds are available the challenge has always been spending money in the right manner and that needs systems to be put in place. It also needs roles and responsibilities to be defined in a manner such that there is clear accountability for how the money is spent and what it is spent on.
Moreover, since the launch of Total Sanitation Campaign to Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan, there was focus on building more and more toilets. There was no concrete data pertaining to the usage of the toilets on a national level. The policy makers need to shift their approach from collecting data on building of toilets to collection of data of usage of toilets. Although the current programme focuses on the construction and usage component but effective monitoring needs to be in place to bring desired results. Along with this the mechanism for monitoring needs to be changed. For instance, the outcome of building toilets needs to be linked with the number decrease in the number of children dying due to diahorrea resulting from open defecation.
Therefore, unless robust monitoring mechanisms along with a shift outcome approach are put in place no effective results could be achieved.